SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Meet the New District 7 Overlord and Superintendent

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Meet the New District 7 Overlord and Superintendent

Change is in the air. A new superintendent is coming to District 7. Gone is Robert Alvarez as he moves to take the reins in District 15. I had not had much contact with him but the time that I did he came across as an honorable and respectful gentleman. I know of one former SBSB groupie that will miss him. This former groupie as no patron left. 

Who is replacing him? One would say someone with an impeccable record. One who has no baggage, no proclivities towards lascivious behavior. Remember. This is the district that in the nineties went on educational trips to Honolulu and Las Vegas. 

The pick for Superintendent is Roberto Padilla, formerly superintendent of the Newburgh City Schools. Padilla though has some issues. He has been accused of inappropriate touching of several female staff members on an excursion in San Diego in August of 2021. 

According to the Albany Times Union, Padilla was suspended on August 20 of that year and eventually resigned on December 23, 2021.Padilla stayed on payroll with benefits for two years. 

What is Padilla accused of? As reported by Chalkbeat, two Newburgh City school employees claim that Padilla; 

Padilla greeted one female staffer with an extended hug, wrapping his arms tightly around her body, the lawsuit said. 

Later that evening, he sat next to her, put his arms around her, and rubbed his knees against hers. According to the lawsuit, he then started describing a couple sitting across from them who were showing public displays of affection. 

Padilla made sexually explicit noises, the suit said, and he hypothesized whether or not the man would “get lucky” that night. 

“Padilla commented that he and Walsh were ‘cock blocking’ the couple, meaning their presence was preventing the couple from engaging in sexual activity,” the lawsuit stated.

 Later that evening, when a co-worker mentioned a staffer's bird tattoo, “[Padilla] touched her back, slowly touching his finger over the image of a bird that is part of the tattoo, commenting on the bird’s “big red ass.” The bird is dark gray, not red. The staffer was wearing a red dress, the lawsuit stated. 

At another point during the same evening, Padilla sat across from one of the women and started to run his foot across the woman's foot, the lawsuit said. When she moved away, Padilla smiled. 

Soon after that, Padilla was at the bar while the woman was heading to the bathroom when he grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her close to him, making their bodies touch. When the woman was about to leave the bar, Padilla said to her “you can’t leave without giving me a hug.” 

On their walk back to the hotel, Padilla insisted the woman ride a Lyft scooter with him. Imagine a teacher doing this during a conference, or even a round of drinks after work? There would be an epic shit storm. 

But wait! There is more! 

Independent investigator Louis Patack found that Padilla sexually harassed one of the women in violation of New York law, according to court documents. A second investigator, Melinda Gordon, was hired to investigate the other woman's complaint, and she found that Padilla appeared to violate federal Title IX law. The findings by the investigators were never publicly released, but the lawyers representing the women obtained heavily redacted copies after filing public records requests, according to their attorney Alex Berke. 

And that is not all. Seems that Padilla is a little shaky as has been under investigation in the past, not too soon after he won Superintendent of the Year... spite of a 2019 Orange County grand jury investigation that looked into student attendance, athletics eligibility and the credit-recovery APEX program used by the Newburgh district. The grand jury found "systemic" failure in school district policies that included grade changing, manipulation of attendance records, and allowing student-athletes to participate in sports though their absences made them ineligible. 

Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said at the time it represented a failure districtwide, "from the top down." No charges were brought against the district or any school officials as a result of the probe.

Seems a perfect fit, what with the grade changing, manipulation of attendance, etc..

This is the best Chancellor Banks can come up with? There were no other worthy applicants?Why does District 7 which is part of the poorest congressional district in the country get the worst of the worst? What example does Roberto Padilla set for the community, the teachers, and most importantly, the students of District 7? Is Padilla someone that we would want the children that we serve day in and day out to look up to? Of course not.

What is just as bad if not worse is the silence coming from 52 Broadway. Where again is Mile Mulgrew at being proactive and fighting for the community and UFT members of District 7? How is this acceptable? Yes, I know Mulgrew does not represent the community, but in a de facto sort of way he does. He is missing a chance to put the UFT and its overworked members in a positive light by defending the students. He is yet again showing that he never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. 

Let's just say that maybe Padilla didn't do any of this stuff or that there is a gray area somewhere. (I'm not saying there is) He just has shown poor judgement by being in a place with underlings where alcohol is being served. 


Anonymous said...

As a resident of Newburgh and a victim of Padilla’s malfeasance I fear for the students, families, and educators of BX District 7. Padilla has done and gotten away with much more than what he has been publicly charged with.

Leopards don’t become lions; he’s going to do bad things again. He targets those that are vulnerable or a threat to him and then in his narcissistic, self serving, calculated ways systematically demoralizes people.

Good riddance to this albatross… Sorry you have to take him on. And good luck to the people of Bronx District 7… You’re going to need it!

Anonymous said...

I am a female teacher in the NECSD. I have to post anonymously as his psychopath friends are still here. Including on the BOE. Padilla’s enablers and hangers on. Padilla is a demented narcissist who abuses women and anyone who questions him. What your reporting is accurate but only what he got caught doing. There’s so much more. He made a lot of money but did nothing to improve anything in Newburgh. I’m glad he’s gone but know what he’s capable of. I pray for the kids and professionals in that school district.

Anonymous said...

The measure of a man is what he does with power-Plato…Padilla was extremely lacking. Maybe he’s seen the error or his ways, but I highly doubt it. He still thinks he did nothing wrong. Narcissistic personality disorder

Anonymous said...

Padilla Is a POS..end of story

Anonymous said...

Does Roberto Padilla check any boxes that might override considerations of his unseemly past?

Anonymous said...

As a former employee of District 7, I was pushed through the door with no other option but to resign. The UFT does not protect teachers, but yet those higher up like Padilla and other Principals are protected. It is so sad that the education system has failed students and hard working teachers alike. Praying for the children of D7.

Anonymous said...

What he did to the students - total neglect, no knowledge just acronyms and platitudes-trickery, lied about achievement, moved kids around to create illusions, used “equity” as a tool and implied racism instead of actually addressing it. What he did to the public - constant PR with his face everywhere and outright lies, manipulations that became dangerous, tax payer money to useless consultants and companies with ties to him, built himself a brand. Untouchable bc Rosa is reportedly his champion. What he did to the staff - sexually harassed multiple women, some who traded their silence for career advancement, intimidated others, built a toxic environment in which he was a paranoid narcissist, turned people on others, discriminated against some, played every power he could because he had no real experience or skill- Beware.